Fireworks above a house.

A very Aussie New Year

This time last year, in a frosty Danish suburb, we were joined by friends, family and the neighbours to toast the arrival of 2014.

At the time, we had secured our Australian residency visas but we had yet to put our house on the market and yet to make concrete plans to move to Canberra. Continue reading

‘Tis the season…

Frost covered trees in a snow-covered field.

Last December, the weather conditions were very different.

‘Tis the season to be jolly…’ except it isn’t. At least, not to the born and bred European in me. It’s actually high summer, with temperatures ranging from the mid-20s to the high 30s in Celsius, and that’s a problem. You see, for the first time in many Decembers, I just don’t feel Christmassy. Continue reading

Early lessons and challenges

Two weeks into our new life and we’ve learnt a few things that are worth noting for future migrants.

In our preparations for the move, we found plenty of near-encyclopaedic lists of tips for what to do on arrival, covering all the essentials such as registering for Medicare, setting up a bank account, or how to exchange your driving licence for an Aussie one. But here are a few things that we wish we’d known, or known more about, before we arrived. Continue reading

Reality bites

There’s a pivotal scene in The Lord of the Rings when, with mankind facing its darkest hour during the siege of Helm’s Deep, those trapped within the castle’s walls look to the east and see Gandalf the wizard arriving with reinforcements to save the day.

It was hardly Tolkien-esque, in that we didn’t have orcs and other beasts clawing at our door, but we did have a fairly dark hour this week, and we did have a saviour from the east to lift our spirits and help us to go on. Continue reading

Things to do on arrival in Canberra

We had some disappointing news this week. After all our meticulous planning in trying to ensure our belongings will arrive in Canberra in time for us to spend a comfortable Christmas, the shipping company told us that, yes, while the container would arrive in Australia in plenty of time, customs clearance is expected to take three-to-four weeks, meaning our belongings won’t reach us until mid-January at best. Continue reading

Where will our family roots be?

A friend of mine asked me a very strange question the other day. “Where would you like to be buried?”

Perhaps I was looking particularly rough after an early morning flight and a late night of catching up, or perhaps he had some medical information that I wasn’t privy to yet. I floundered for a moment, nonplussed.

“Serious question,” he pressed. “Where would you like to be buried when you die?” Continue reading

The goodbye party that never was

Time is running away from us in the countdown to our move to Canberra and there are already a few tasks that were on our August ‘to do’ list that have been highlighted in luminous marker pen as being overdue.

One such task was to have a goodbye party, to which we would invite all our friends here in Denmark. Alas, when it comes to sorting our jobs list into ‘must dos’ and ‘nice to dos’ our big send-off falls into the latter category and is unlikely to happen now. Continue reading